With severe overcrowding easing in California lockups, the state is winding down a controversial deal with the nation's biggest private prison operator and will bring thousands of inmates housed in facilities as far away as Mississippi back to California within the next few years, reports California Watch. Some 9,500 California inmates are serving sentences in prisons in Arizona, Mississippi, and Oklahoma operated by the Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America.
California will transfer those inmates back by 2016. The return of the first group, 600 inmates housed in Arizona, will begin “immediately,” said Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate. Another 4,000 prisoners will return to California in 2014. The revised contract will reduce California's fee to the private prison group by $67 million for the current fiscal year. California is paying the Corrections Corporation $61 to $72 per prison bed per day, making the original contract worth more than $280 million for 2012-13.